John M. Becker

Gays Will Be Stoned Under Brunei's New Sharia Law Code

Filed By John M. Becker | April 15, 2014 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Brunei, death penalty, Sharia, Sharia law, sodomy, stoning, stoning to death

brunei-map.jpgNew Sharia (Islamic) laws in the sultanate of Brunei call for the death penalty for a variety of offenses, including sodomy and adultery. The laws take effect on April 22, one week from today.

International Law Prof Blog reports:

Rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and murder are the other offences for which the death penalty could be applied under the revised code, which is due to come into force on 22 April.

The United Nations human rights office has condemned Brunei's revised penal code:

"Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law," said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). "We urge the Government to delay the entry into force of the revised penal code and to conduct a comprehensive review ensuring its compliance with international human rights standards," he told a news conference in Geneva.

Noting that Brunei has maintained an effective moratorium on the use of the death penalty since 1957, OHCHR urged the Government to establish a formal moratorium and to work towards abolishing the practice altogether...

"Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited," stated Mr. Colville. He added that a number of UN studies have also revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them, including among law enforcement and judicial officers.

Colville also warned that the new laws may serve to legitimize and encourage discrimination and violent attacks against women and sexual minorities.

Brunei is a small nation located on the north coast of Borneo, an island in southeast Asia, in the Indonesian archipelago.

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